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Submission + - BlackBerry's DTEK50 fails to raise the security bar (review) (zdnet.com)

An anonymous reader writes: BlackBerry's DTEK50 is a passable smartphone that was in most cases able to match the security features of other similarly secure devices, like Apple's iPhone and Google's Nexus. But the DTEK50 was not able to outperform or raise the security bar in any meaningful way. In part because of that, we dispute the company's claim that this is the "most secure Android smartphone."

Submission + - South China Sea conflict could be IT's Black Swan (computerworld.com) 1

dcblogs writes: The vast majority of the world’s electronics — its servers, PCs, mobile phones — are now manufactured in China. This means any inadvertent escalation over the on-going South China Sea territorial dispute could do more than raise geopolitical tensions. About 84% of the world’s electronics are made in Asia, and about 85% of those goods are made in China, said Michael Palma, an analyst at IDC. “All that product flows through the South China Sea,” said Palma. Headlines about military activities in the region appear frequently. Just this month, Vietnam moved rocket launchers within striking distance of China’s military positions. Recent photographs show new aircraft hangerson China’s islands that are believed to be for fighter aircraft. “The South China Sea dispute is indeed a serious security issue of global significance because it has the potential to lead the world into war,” said Linda Lim, a professor of strategy at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and a China and Southeast Asia expert.

Submission + - How do you prepare for and deal with a lost/stolen/destroyed Smartphone? 3

Qbertino writes: A lot of our everyday lives today hinges on having our smartphone and our apps/services/data that are on it working and available.

What are you tactics/standard procedures/techniques/best pratices for preparing for a lost/stolen/destroyed Android Phone and/or iPhone? And have you needed to actually use them?

I'm talking concrete solutions for the worst case scenario: Apps, backup routines (like automating Google Takeaway downloads or something) tracking and disabling routines and methods and perhaps services. If you're using some vendor specific solution that came with your phone and have had positive experience with it, feel free to advocate.

Please include the obvious with some description that you use such as perhaps a solution already build into Android/iOS and also describe any experience you had with these solutions in some unpleasant scenario you might have had yourself. Also perhaps the procedures and pitfalls for recovering previous state to a replacement device.

Please note: I'm talking both Android and iOS.
And thanks for your input — I can imagine that I'm not the only one interested in this.

Submission + - New Method For Detecting Hardware Trojans (helpnetsecurity.com)

An anonymous reader writes: To prevent, detect and combat hardware Trojans, computer scientists from the University of California San Diego, together with their collaborators, have devised a new technique that tracks information flow through a circuit’s logic gates, much the way one would track traffic as it flows through an intersection while obeying a series of traffic signals. If information unexpectedly moves to a part of the chip where it shouldn’t be, the method will determine that a security violation occurred, and whether or not a Trojan was the root cause.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What Is Your Most Awesome Hardware Hacked?

An anonymous reader writes: Another Slashdotter once asked what kind of things someone can power with an external USB battery. I have a followup along these lines: what kind of modifications have you made to your gadgets to do things that they were never meant to do? Consider old routers, cell phones, monitors, etc. that have absolutely no use or value anymore in their intended form. What can you do with them? Have you ever done something stupid and damaged your electronics?

Submission + - UK police to use civil courts to get money back from cyber criminals (theguardian.com)

Bruce66423 writes: Rather than pursue them through the criminal courts, the UK is going to try using the civil courts where the standard of proof is lower but the consequence is only the loss of the assets — and the costs to the defendant.

Whilst clearly preferable to the US's forfeiture programs where the victim has to prove their innocence to get the money and assets seized back, and with a full court involvement, it still raises some concerns, not least: 'the law firm and others in the private sector would bear the risk, in return for a share of the money taken off the criminal suspect'.

Submission + - We Are All Intuitive Physicists, Scientists Say (gizmodo.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Human beings are very good at acting on the fly: swerving to avoid an obstacle in the road, ducking to keep from being hit, or reflexively catching a fly ball. We can do this because the brain is constantly running simulations of the physics involved as we scan our environment, according to a new series of brain imaging studies.

Comment Update Naming Conventions (Score 1) 40

Hey Microsoft, I know "Summer Update", "Anniversary Update", and "Windows 8.1 Update" sound nice and friendly, but they're useless if you're trying to have an unambiguous discussion about the update status of a machine.

Tech Support: "Have you installed the Windows 8.1 Update?"
User: "My computer installed updates last night"
Tech Support: "But have you installed THE Update?"
User: "Which one?"
Tech Support: "..."

Back on the helpline, that was always fun to walk people through. Whatever happened to Service Packs? Too scary? Too many people not migrating until you had released at least one Service Pack? Sounds like a problem of your own creation, and just changing the names isn't the way to fix it.

Submission + - SPAM: Obama Defines How The US Government Will Respond To Cyber Incidents

Orome1 writes: US president Barack Obama approved on Tuesday the Presidential Policy Directive on United States Cyber Incident Coordination (PPD-41). The PPD-41 is especially geared towards defining the Federal government’s response to “significant” cyber incidents, i.e. incidents that can “result in demonstrable harm to the national security interests, foreign relations, or economy of the United States or to the public confidence, civil liberties, or public health and safety of the American people.”
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Fact checking the DNC email hack

Presto Vivace writes: NSA Whistleblower: Not So Fast On Claims Russia Behind DNC Email Hack

they have not listed intruders or attempted intrusions to the DNC site. I suspect that’s because they did a quick and dirty look for known attacks. Of course, this brings up another question; if it’s a know attack, why did the DNC not have software to stop it? You can tell from the network log who is going into a site. I used that on networks that I had. I looked to see who came into my LAN, where they went, how long they stayed and what they did while in my network.

Further, if you needed to, you could trace back approaches through other servers etc. Trace Route and Trace Watch are good examples of monitoring software that help do these things. Others of course exist probably the best are in NSA/GCHQ and the other Five Eyes countries. But, these countries have no monopoly on smart people that could do similar detection software.

Question is do they want to fix the problems with existing protection software. If the DNC and OPM are examples, then obviously, they don’t care to fix weakness probably because the want to use these weaknesses to their own advantage.

Submission + - Apple's services category will be the size of a Fortune 100 company next year (bgr.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Apple’s earnings for its June 2016 quarter gave investors a whole lot to cheer about. Even though iPhone, iPad and Mac sales were all down compared to the same quarter a year-ago, Apple’s quarter was not nearly as grim as many investors were anticipating. What’s more, there was a familiar bright spot amidst Apple’s earnings report yesterday — revenue from the company’s various line of Services.

For the quarter gone by, revenue from Apple’s array of services — Apple Music, Apple Pay, iTunes, the Mac App Store and the App Store — checked in at $5.97 billion, an impressive 19% increase from the year-ago quarter. In fact, revenue from Apple’s services category raked in more cash than both the Pad ($4.8 billion) and the Mac ($4.2 billion).

Consider this: Apple to date has doled out more than $50 billion to App Store developers over the past eight years. Breaking things down a bit more, it took Apple approximately 6 years and 6 months before it reached the $25 billion mark. The next $25 billion came just 18 months later. In other words, App Store revenue isn’t just increasing, it’s accelerating at an unprecedented clip.

Speaking to this point, Apple CEO Tim Cook during Apple’s earnings conference call yesterday boasted that Apple’s services category would soon be the size of a Fortune 100 company.

“In the last twelve months,” Cook said, “our services revenue is up almost $4 billion year-on-year to $23.1 billion and we expect it to be the size of a Fortune 100 company next year.”

Submission + - AT&T to Head Up Anti-Robocall Strike Force

Trailrunner7 writes: Spurred by a directive from the FCC last week, AT&T will head up a new anti-robocall task force that will work to develop tools and technology to help users and carriers block robocalls.

The chairman of the FCC sent a letter to all of the major wireless and wireline carriers last week instructing them to start providing customers with tools to block robocalls. The letter tells carriers to work on free tools and to get them to customers as soon as possible.

In response, AT&T has said that it will step up and lead a new coalition that will work “to accelerate the development and adoption of new tools and solutions to abate the proliferation of robocalls”. AT&T Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson said will chair the new Robocall Strike Force, the company said Monday.

Comment Re:Death to VW? (Score 1) 123

The European regulations for emissions aren't anywhere near as stringent as the US (yet), so they can continue selling diesels there. I suspect VW diesels are done in the US though, and they'll be phased out as Europe clamps down on emissions. Some newer cars like the VW UP! don't even have a diesel option.

Comment Re:Test mode all the time? (Score 1) 123

The test mode does have reduced levels of performance, but the bigger issue is the durability of the emissions control system. To lower costs, VW designed the emissions components to survive for the life of the vehicle (semis have parts which are easy to access and replace, but are expensive). In cheat mode, the emissions controls are cycled more frequently and the components will most likely fail before the end of the life of the vehicle. Replacing some of them costs upwards of $6k, and they're required by US law to be under warranty for 8 years/80,000 miles (I might have the exact warranty term wrong, but it's a lot).

Automotive News has a quick description of the different emissions control systems: http://www.autonews.com/article/20150925/OEM11/150929855/how-vws-diesel-emissions-system-works. With their newest engines, VW can actually meet emissions requirements and have parts last for the life of the car. They've just stupidly turned down the dosing rate of diesel exhaust fluid used with SCR so that it needs to be refilled every 10k miles when the car has service, instead of every ~6k miles as required to be compliant.

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